Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Little Big Man Makes My Day
Alas, Waylon, a red-haired, rosy-cheeked Tasmanian devil, came running in. Three-year-old Waylon, affectionately nicknamed Way-Way, climbed onto the back of the couch in the lobby and poked his head through my office window. I was sitting at my desk trying to get some paperwork out of the way before class – and to rest.
“Hi, Miss Caffee,” he said.
I rose from my chair and gave him a proper bow. “Anyan-hasaeyo,” I said, which means “hello” in Korean.
“Aya-haf-say-o,” he tried to reply, nodding his head like a pecking chicken.
Way-Way is a plump-cheeked, solid-framed trip. He’s tough: When he loses his balance and falls on his butt with a thud, he gets right back up. He’s smart, fearless, and loves Taekwondo.
At 3 years old, Way-Way already is a natural martial artist. But then again, Taekwondo and Tao of Texas MAI were a part of him from the time he was in the womb. All through her pregnancy, his mom Christina sat on the burgundy benches in the spectator area, cheering for her son Calvin, who attended the school’s Tiny Texans class. Through his mom’s rounded belly, Way-Way heard the kihaps and felt the energy of Calvin and his classmates. So everything about Taekwondo and Tao of Texas is oddly familiar to him.
As a toddler, Way-Way would sit in Christina’s lap, and he and I would trade air punches until we were both giggling so hard I had to stop. Once he started walking, I would catch him in the corner of my eye kicking in the air like big brother, and getting on the floor mimicking everyone else doing push-ups. Way-Way couldn’t wait to get on the mat. So as soon as he was officially potty trained, his parents enrolled him into our Tiny Texans program.
He has taken to Taekwondo like a starfish takes to the Gulf of Mexico.
“I can’t believe that little guy,” a spectator told me yesterday. “He’s so attentive – and fierce.”
Indeed he is. But like most 3-year-olds, Way-Way most loves to laugh. Sometimes he intends to be funny, and sometimes he doesn’t – but he is anyway. Like yesterday.
“Miss Caffee,” he began seriously. He obviously had something important on his mind. “Do you know that Bruce Lee is a black belt?”
I was amazed he even knew who this legendary martial artist was.
“Yes, sir,” I replied, “he’s a great black belt!”
“Uh-huh!” Way-Way said, then popped off the couch and ran into the dojang.
I smiled at Christina, who had come into the office to tell me one hilarious story after another about how Way-Way and Calvin have been watching Bruce Lee movies with their father. Their favorite movie so far is the one in which Lee creams Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Then Way-Way appeared again in the lobby. I could now see him through my office door. He had a mischievous look on his face.
“Ms. Caffee, can I fight with one finger?” he asks, holding his right index finger high in the air. He shrugged his shoulders, made a funny face, giggled, and then bopped back into the dojang.
What a hoot!
Way-Way made my day. And today, even though I’m still a little under the fall weather, I get another chance to see what kind of funny rabbit Way-Way will pull out of his hat.
For his parents’ sake, though, I hope it’s not of the funny-embarrassing variety, like last week when Way-Way shuffled out of the dojang bathroom with his pants down to his ankles, asking someone – anyone – to help him pull up his bottoms. (Just a moment earlier, he told his mom he was a big boy and could do it himself.)